By Shadrach Michaels
The Jay Derbidge Memorial Walk/Run, held on August 24, 2019, was held in honor of the husband, father, rotarian, and member of the Ely community who succumbed to cancer three years ago. As a fundraiser for the White Pine Cancer Fund and the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Gretchen Derbidge had a goal, to raise $3,900, to honor Jay, who would have turned 39 this year.
This past Wednesday, on October 2, Derbidge and the Walk/Run co organizer, Nancy Herms, delivered a check to the First National Bank of Ely, in the amount of $32,780.78, raised through the community contributions for the event. “It shows how much love, support, and the feeling of home we have here from the community, and now there’s this money here to help the people of White Pine County, and that’s phenomenal,” Debidge said. The doantion’s grand total was made possible through the generous contribution of First National Bank’s matching what was generated by the community.
First National Bank’s, Katie Gianoli-Rozich accepted the check, saying “It’s important that people who need the help know it’s here, even though most people have the coverage to go through the doctor, they struggle to get from here to there. They can come in and receive help for travel expenses, food, gas, lodging, and things like that. It’s amazing to see this result. The fund has been happening since 1981, about the time my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer and the bank decided to start a fund to help locals with the expense.”
The Jay Derbidge Walk/Run fundraiser produced $36,720.17 before expenses, and Derbidge is also be donating more than her original goal to Lazarex Cancer Foundation for $3,939.39, which will go towards helping people across the country. Derbidge notes, “Nancy was instrumental in doing the run. This wouldn’t have happened if not for her and Ely Outdoor Enthusiasts.” Herms, Derbidge, and Gianoli-Rozich thank everyone involved in the event and contributed to the success of the fundraiser.
Please stop by the First National Bank of Ely, 595 Aultman Street, or call 775-289-4441 for more information about the White Pine Cancer Fund. If you would like to donate, the entirety of your donation goes towards helping cancer patients in our community.